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Transcript of Scholarship Essays
The Scholarship Essay
Where do I begin???
Who do I look up to...my mom, Jesus, Jay Leno?
Avoid generic responses.
The people grading your essays, have already seen these answers...1,000 times.
Know your audience
Every scholarship provider is looking for slightly different criteria.
Do your research
Look closely at the questions,
the organization giving the scholarship,
and any past recipients you can find.
and create an outline!
Plan in advance...
The awarding agency is giving you ample time to complete the application, they expect (near) perfection. Make sure you have enough time to
Outlines help you
Stay on topic
Keep from rambling or going on tangents
Focus on answering the question
Sometimes your limit will be as little as 250 words! Outlining is crucial here.
So how do I do this?
Remember your goal is to convince the scholarship providers that you are the student they have been looking for.
Don't just tell them you worked with disadvantaged kids.
Tell them how your love of soccer got you into coaching those kids
Use your unique experiences and perspective to create a memorable essay.
Find an Editor!
It can be almost anyone
a nerdy friend or classmate
As good of a writer as you (think you) are, it is easy to miss things.
Also try reading your essay aloud for flow
Interviewer: How much rewriting do you do?
Hemingway: It depends. I rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, 39 times before I was satisfied.
Interviewer: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had stumped you?
Hemingway: Getting the words right.
– Ernest Hemingway, The Paris Review Interview, 1956
“Mostly when I think of pacing, I go back to Elmore Leonard, who explained it so perfectly by saying he just left out the boring parts. This suggests cutting to speed the pace, and that’s what most of us end up having to do (kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings)…I got a scribbled comment that changed the way I rewrote my fiction once and forever. Jotted below the machine-generated signature of the editor was this mot: ‘Not bad, but PUFFY. You need to revise for length. Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%. Good luck.’ — Stephen King, On Writing, 2000
“I have rewritten — often several times — every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.” — Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory, 1966
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” — Elmore Leonard, Newsweek, 1985
“Your eloquence should be the servant of the ideas in your head. Your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.” — Kurt Vonnegut, How to Use the Power of the Printed Word
Where to look for opportunities:
Financial Aid office @ ENHS
The university/program you are applying to
Konrad, Matt. "4 Ways to Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out" U.S. NEWS. Scholarship
America. January 31, 2013.
Temple, Emily. "20 Great Writers on the Art of Revision." Flavorwire.com. January 8, 2013.
Varsity Tutors. "Real Cost of College."
1. A favorite childhood memory
2. A person you admire
3. A favorite high school
memory (so far)
4. A club/organization you have been a
part of in hs
5. Someone who has influenced you (a lot)
6. Your strongest/best characteristic
7. Your best accomplishment (the one you
are most proud of)
8. A favorite literary character
9. A favorite movie character
10. What do you anticipate your college
major to be?
11. What is your dream job?
12. What is the biggest issue facing that
13. An experience that has changed you
14. How has your family background
affected the way you see the world?
15. How do you plan to pay for college?
16. A personal/family circumstance affecting
your need for financial aid
1. What did you learn from this experience?
2. What qualities do you admire?
3. What life lesson did you learn from this experience?
4. How has this club/org. been important in your life?
5. How has he/she influenced you?
8. What makes him/her special?
9. What makes him/her special?
11. Explain- esp if it is unrelated to #10.
12. Give three reasons for this issue.
13. How has it changed you?
14. What is your family background? How do you see the world?
15. Do your research & figure the real cost.
Essay Idea Bank